Vintersorg - Jordpuls
Napalm Records
Experimental Black Metal
9 songs (46:41)
Release year: 2011
Vintersorg, Napalm Records
Reviewed by Tony
Album of the month

After much fanfare received by I.C.S. Vortex’s arrival in Borknagar, I decided that it was time to delve into the band. Of course, I had heard little of them in the form of Epic; an album which I have owned for about a year and continue to enjoy. I believe on that review here on MR Borknagar are compared as the Yes or Genesis of Black Metal if my memory doesn’t fail me. That is an apt comparison for a band that frequently rings true with a band that at one given moment unleash Black Metal fury and at the other are a well versed and deft at providing eloquent clean vocals and strummed riffs. So, why not leap at the opportunity to review the latest offering from the true brain trust of the brilliant and never stale Borknagar. With no prior knowledge but plenty of hype surrounding the genius composer, I guess I will begin my cosmic journey from the top to the bottom.

I trust my MR colleagues, both present and past, and have seen more than an approving eye on the two piece that is the current lineup of Vintersorg. I always found it lame when a leading band member would take a solo/side project and make identical sounding rhythms. Vintersorg and partner do more than enough here to not only distance himself from his flagship Borknagar, but also only draws upon the true strengths of his chief band and uses his talents as a true renaissance man to create something all of its own. Believe me, if this is what the works of Vintersorg is like in his entire discography, I am bound to continue collecting! It is almost unfortunate that I have not graced my cd shelf with any Borknagar or Vintersorg. The time to scramble to assemble my soon-to-be reputable Vintersorg collection is nigh, because what I hear with Jordpuls is a refreshing and multi-faceted take on Norwegian Black Metal. Jordpuls is translated to “pulse of the Earth.” I truly feel that Vintersorg has the skill to take upon any form of Black Metal. The riffs are excellent, and definitely do not have the muffled buzzed feel of typical Norwegian darkness.

The album begins with the fantastic Varldsalltets Fanfar. The very nature and build of this introduction to Jordpuls not only highlights Vintersorg’s outstanding capability as a multi angled musician but also showcases his versatility, which is the true star power of Vintersorg. Unlike Borknagar, the lyrics on Jordpuls are in Norwegian. They offer a different sound to Vintersorg’s vocals specifically on his clean passages. At first during the clean chorus of the first track I thought compared to his English vocals the clean sounded a bit awkward in his native Norwegian. After a few initial repeats on the first track I realized that melody and good vox translate into any language. As for Vintersorg’s song structures, they are deep and offer plenty of variety. Sometimes his songs such as the opener, Varldsalltets Fanfar can be catchy at times with a very memorable chorus, and other times there will be a jazzy interlude and downright bizarre placement of guitar leads and vocal and drum tempo changes such as on Mork Nebulosa. Whether it be for a live sing-along or a proggy talent show, Vintersorg excels in every right.

His ability to transfer from deep-rooted and power driven harsh vocals to thoughtful and beautiful melodic clean vox is nothing short of virtuosic. While most of his vocals are indeed clean, this does not take away from the heaviness of the Black Metal. It only augments it with melody, leaving much to the imagination whilst still packing the punch of Norwegian BM.

The Norwegian scene is not exactly in the flourishing state it was in during the 90s. Despite continued production from the excellent Immortal, Taake, . and others, when the Symphonic Dimmu Borgir is your most infamous act it is time to stray from Darkthrone cloning and bridge the way into a more progressive and depth driven Black Metal. There are parts of ever song that in no way resemble what the human mind and history projects as true Norwegian Black Metal, there are moments of brutality, moments of clarity, and moments of sheer emotion. These tracks never get boring, and each one brings a different facet of imaginative songwriting, truly highlighting the incredible repertoire of Vintersorg’s musical identity.

On many of the tracks such as the ethereal Stjarndyrkan, Vintersorg layers his clean vocals, but not to cheat or try to sound like a demi-god. He merely does it to add an atmospheric effect to great measure. There are synth tracks with strings and other sounds of natural splendor throughout the album. Time and time again the twosome shows their skill on the acoustic guitar, such as on the intro of Skogen Sover, a song which besets the listener with the howling of a wolf pack and acoustic beauty before instantly progressing from heavy riffs, then back into clean, then back to heavy. It is the seamless movement Vintersorg has through each of his compositions that makes this album so worthy, so excellent. More classical composition and less modern prog distinguish Vintersorg from Borknagar. Vintersorg has the ability to take a beautiful moment in music and reverse it to madness, and backwards again. His movement and stylish wanderings through his compositions are effortless and to the point perfect.

Having nothing to my knowledge of the previous works of this band, I have to score this based on gut, not knowing if his previously well regarded works are better or worse. All I know is, Jordpuls is a keeper. Deep, ethnic, passionate, scorching, talented, and provocative are all more than apt adjectives to describe such a diverse and skilled musician such as Vintersorg and his wonderful creation, Jordpuls.

Killing Songs :
Varldsalltets Fanfar, Klippor Och Skar, Mork Nebulosa, Palissader
Tony quoted 93 / 100
Other albums by Vintersorg that we have reviewed:
Vintersorg - Till Fjalls, del II reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
Vintersorg - Naturbål reviewed by Alex and quoted 93 / 100
Vintersorg - Orkan reviewed by Alex and quoted 86 / 100
Vintersorg - Solens Rotter reviewed by Alex and quoted 80 / 100
Vintersorg - The Focusing Blur reviewed by Jeff and quoted 86 / 100
To see all 8 reviews click here
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